Ukraine ambassador to tell MPs Canada must reverse Russian decision on turbines


Ukraine’s Ambassador to Canada will today make clear her country’s disappointment at Canada’s decision to allow the return of pipeline equipment that was in Montreal for repairs to an oil giant state-controlled energy in Russia despite war-related sanctions.

Yulia Kovaliv is due to appear before a committee of MPs reviewing Ottawa’s decision to allow delivery of a turbine to Gazprom, which Canada sanctioned following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, for use in the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline supplying Germany with natural gas.

Last month, the Liberal government came under fire for granting Siemens Energy a waiver on Russia sanctions and allowing the turbine to return to Germany and then possibly Russia for installation in the pipeline.

Siemens Energy was granted a permit to import, repair and return up to six turbines for Gazprom and the Ukrainian embassy said Kovaliv would renew its appeals to Ottawa to revoke the decision.

Kyiv has accused Canada of setting a dangerous precedent, arguing that the exemptions undermine sanctions imposed on Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson are also due to appear before the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee today, and Liberal Speaker Ali Ehsassi said it’s important Canadians know how the decision was made.

On Wednesday, Joly and German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock both insisted the return of the turbines used in the Russian pipeline was necessary.

But they also said the fact that the turbine remained in Germany after Canada authorized its release – and Russia has since cut Germany’s natural gas supply to 20% – reveals the level of dishonesty of the President Vladimir Putin.

Russia had cited the late return of the equipment as the reason for the reduction in the flow of natural gas through the gas pipeline that connects Germany to Russia.

“We called his bluff,” Joly said in Montreal Wednesday at a joint press conference with Baerbock. “It is now clear that Putin is militarizing energy flows to Europe.”

Ehsassi said Thursday’s Foreign Affairs Committee meeting would help establish “the diplomatic representations that have been made” around the decision.

German Ambassador to Canada Sabine Sparwasser is also expected to appear before the committee, alongside European Union Ambassador to Canada Melita Gabric.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on August 4, 2022